Ever wonder how they ever made Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi? Well this documentary explains it all as we're taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the making of the ... See full summary »
The entire process of making Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) are shown here in this documentary. From pre-production through post-production we get to see visual effects ... See full summary »
For Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), there were to be many more visual effects than in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). This documentary shows many VFX ... See full summary »
The Birth of the Lightsaber is a Video Documentary included in the 2004 DVD of the Star Wars original trilogy. It revealed the concept of the Lightsaber and how it was designed to appear realistic on the silver screen.
This is the main documentary on the second disc of the Revenge of the Sith DVD release and as such strives to accomplish two things: finding an original way of presenting yet another "making of", whilst paying homage to every single crew-member that worked on the last Star Wars movie ever made. They succeed in both, though the novelty of the former soon makes way for the repetitiveness of the latter. Instead of featuring the entire process of film making from start to finish (like in 'The Beginning' on the Phantom Menace DVD), this one focuses on just one scene (#158): less than a minute of the light-saber duel on planet Mustafar. However, all the same bases are covered from the moment George Lucas first put pencil to paper to the penultimate screening (just like in the earlier documentary). The only difference is that they go out of their way not to mention any other aspect of the story apart from the duel.
So this becomes probably the first 'making of' ever made that lists the entire cast and crew, with their names scrolling up and down the screen, sometimes even with pictures. The molecule like family trees look very flashy hovering over fiery Mustafar, but soon become rather tiresome. Although we meet a lot of ILM staffers (including some amateur video of the accountants and caterers), George Lucas is in almost every shot, calling the shots and making sure that nothing is approved without his permission. He even tells John Williams where to insert a new piece of music, apparently. Rick McCallum narrates and proves he knows every one by name, finds each prop "exquisitely made" and bemoans the "tragic short lifetime of the sets". Lots of this footage and interviews are recycled from the short web docs (are also on this bonus disc), so there is quite a bit of overlapping and people who have followed the production on line learn nothing new.
If anything, this documentary is too informative. Do we really need to meet the guy who puts markers on a blue screen? I suppose they all have families, as Kermit the Frog once said. The cast hardly gets a word in edge ways, though Ewan McGreggor does say he'll never get used to blue screens. That's just about the funniest anecdote in the whole documentary, especially when you realize the whole thing is just one long technical summary. Towards the end even the original approach stars imploding on itself when McCallum seems to make the impression that everyone was working full time on just this one minute of film. Amazingly enough, though Rick calls the members of the London Symphony Orcestra "deeply talented musicians", they are the only group that does not get a complete on-screen roll call...
6 out of 10
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